ZERO FRICTION FOR HEALTH BRANDS

01/29/20
by Toby Trygg

PART 1: DEFINING FRICTION

Something is out there keeping pharma and consumer marketers up at night—and many don’t even know what to call it. But now, thanks to a partnership at Facebook, the very thing rearing its ugly head on the daily finally has a name: Friction.

And it’s a beast. According to the Baymard Institute’s “41 Cart Abandonment Rate Statistics,” $260 billion is the opportunity cost of friction at the point of checkout in 2019. And heads up— nowhere is this more of an issue than in pharma/healthcare marketing. 

If you aren’t familiar, let me break it down for you: friction is what happens along a consumer/patient’s journey and is defined as cumbersome, inconvenient steps and delays, which cause the consumer or patient to become frustrated and potentially abandon the path that leads to a brand’s intended KPI. For example, ads that lead to a poor landing page experience, lengthy loading times, and content that isn’t optimized for mobile can instantly create friction and cause hopeful patients, caregivers, and/or professionals to become despondent and immediately abandon their brand discovery journey only to find another brand ready and willing to offer an experience with fewer barriers. In fact, according to Limelight Networks, “The State of the User Experience,” 51% of consumers wait less than five seconds for a website to load before exiting. Bye, Felicia.

51% of consumers wait less than five seconds
for a website to load before exiting.
Bye, Felicia.

It’s also important to know that friction can also occur offline and can happen at all stages of the journey. For example, when patients or caregivers have to wait in long lines at professional offices, hospitals, or pharmacies, or when they have to laboriously fill in details on physical or digital forms. The more steps consumers/patients have to take, the more opportunities there are for friction. This is paramount, as a 2019 Consumer Expectations Study tells us that 84% of consumers were unlikely to engage with a brand again after just one, single negative experience.

Chart explaining how long are you willing to wait for a website to load before you get frustrated or leave the site

How long are you willing to wait for a website to load
before you get frustrated or leave the site?
Source: Limelight Networks

In 2020, pharma/healthcare brands must work extra hard to optimize the experience, especially in light of our heavily regulated environment. Watch this space for my upcoming posts defining the three stages of friction and tips on how identify and minimize it for your brand(s).


This is the first in a series of blog posts from Toby Trygg, Executive Creative Director at Ogilvy Health, about understanding and reducing friction during patient, caregiver, and healthcare professional experiences.